Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Fort Davis Adventure by Robert Kirk

Have YOU Ever Wondered What It Would Have Been Like To Travel From San Antonio To El Paso During The 1880's?

Well, I wanted to know what it would have been like. So....I signed up for a Junior Ranger Walk in Fort Davis, Texas last month. If you were unable to go, I'll give you a report on what I saw.

When I arrived at the site, I saw two teachers near the fence. There were about 50 kids who accompanied me on the walk. Each of us had water bottles and/or canteens, and wore hats to shade us from the sun. Note my Indiana Jones hat.

We began our walk toward the historic fort, along the road that travelers took from El Paso to San Antonio, Texas. Along the walk, we met actors dressed in period costume. Each traveler played a particular role: soldier, families, settlers, etc. Each person told us a story of why they were traveling on the road that particular day. There were also demonstrations of activities they liked to do, how they managed to eat and get supplies, etc.

One of the most interesting things I saw on the Junior Ranger Walk was an actor demonstrating how to rope cattle. He could do some really neat rope tricks with his lasso. He let the kids on the walk try to lasso a fake cow with his lasso. It's definitely NOT easy to do! It would take a lot of practice to be as good with the lasso as this man was.

Before the lasso demonstration there was free games for amusement. They were: jump rope, ring toss, and dancing. There was also a tug of war game.

We also got to see a real chuckwagon, where we got free food: jerky, crackers, and water. Since I already had water in my canteen, I ate crackers.

The Junior Ranger walk took about 2 hours. At the end of the trail, I got to climb into a covered wagon marked "U.S.". I got to get a Junior Ranger badge and a certificate for completing the walk. It was a lot of fun! I plan to do it again next year. In fact, one of the people who volunteered at the fort told my parents that I could participate as a "traveler" in next year's Junior Ranger Walk. What a deal!

While I was on the walk, Mom and Dad took off to explore the town...

...and the fort. The flag has 38 stars, like an 1880's flag.

Gatling guns. This fort was not made a historic site until 1960. It was open and unfenced before then because people didn't realize its value, so it's amazing that so many of the buildings are still standing.

Now several buildings are completely restored, and more are being restored as money becomes available.

Delicately balanced rocks.

Next we went to the McDonald Observatory, but that's another story for another day...


Matt said...

Hey David and Robert I went to Fort Davis earlier this year when it was a little cooler we had a blast we actually hiked over the mountains into Fort Davis it was great to read about your experience sounds like you guys had fun!

Robert said...

Matt: Yes, it was great. Thanks for reading.

gazelle said...

Hey Robert, your report and pictures make me wish I could go on a Fort Davis adventure! I certainly hope you, Beak, and Mojo will find your way out west in the not too distant future. There are a lot of fun things to do out here!

How 'bout it Beak? Roller coasters await! (JK LOL)

Robert said...

Gazelle: Sounds like fun. BTW, my mom took the pictures at Fort Davis. She's a great photographer!

Gazelle said...

Robert, you are right, your mom is a great photographer. And you are a great you! Did you know that there is an Indiana Jones Ride at Disneyland? It's pretty cool!

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